The Military Writings of
Leon Trotsky

Volume 2, 1919

How the Revolution Armed

The Eastern Front

Kolchak’s Offensive (March-April 1919)


By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic and People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs to the ‘N’ Division, May 6, 1919, No. 95, Vyatskw Polyany

Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

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To be read to all companies, squadrons, batteries and task-forces

Comrade soldiers, commanders and commissars of the ‘N’ Division!

I got to know the basic nucleus of your division during the memorable battles last year before Kazan. A considerable time has passed since then, and the detachment of those days has developed into a regular, powerful division, of which enemies speak with hatred and friends with respect and love. What has welded your division into unity? A clear consciousness that our struggle is honourable, a holy struggle. The enemies of the working people, the landlords and capitalists, forced us to take up arms. But since that is so, you said to yourselves, we must be real soldiers of the revolution, intrepid fighters. You have survived many battles. You have inscribed many victories on your banners. You have brought freedom to towns and villages.

True, in recent times the weakened Eastern front has wavered. You were obliged to retreat. But if you retreated for a time, it was only so as to take a better run up and then leap forward. The moment for the heroic forward leap has now come. Our oppressed brothers in Perm and in Yekaterinburg await impatiently the hour of liberation. This liberation you will bring them.

When I visited you on May 6, I convinced myself, through talking with your riflemen, gunners, troopers, armoured-car crews, sailors, commanders and commissars that the temporary retreat has not broken your spirit. It is as strong now as ever it was.

Warriors of the ‘N’ Division! An end to retreating. Not a step back!

Death and destruction to Kolchak’s dishonourable bands!

Long live the courageous ‘N’ Division!

Long live the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army!

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Last updated on: 23.12.2006